Media Statement: Bar Council must make its stand on ex-judge acting as counsel

Note: The following Media Statement is published with permission and carries with it a total of 21 signatories consisting of lawyers, NGO leaders and social media activists. 

Media Statement – Bar Council must make its stand on ex-judge acting as counsel

29 October 2014

The Malaysian Bar in its Annual General Meeting held on 5 March 2014 passed a resolution prohibiting ex-Judges and other former members of the judiciary from representing clients in our Courts as this would amount to breach of principle and convention at play in Common Law.

The said resolution was passed as a response to former Federal Court Judge Dato Seri Gopal Sri Ram, to act as counsel in a constitutional case.

Yesterday and suddenly out of the blue we hear that Dato Seri Gopal Sri Ram has agreed to act and has indeed acted for Anwar Ibrahim in the Federal Court and the President of the Malaysian Bar maintains a deafening silence which can only be described as hypocritical to say the least in the face of the actions of DS Gopal Sri Ram and the Bar Council has failed to comply with their own resolution in this matter.

We therefore urge the Bar Council to issue a statement in line with their resolution passed at their 68th AGM. The Bar Council’s silence is a contradiction of their own commitment to uphold justice without fear or favour.

It is not proper for the Bar Council to have two sets of principles that differ when Anwar Ibrahim is involved and the credibility of the legal profession is surely tarnished by such hypocritical actions.

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